An interview with Jasmina Kallay
The second part of our interviews with the writer of Beat Girl, a multi-platform series we are currently featuring on Movellas, gives you an insight into her writing life full of tips and advice. You can read all the different chapters here and an introduction here.
- What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
It’s the simplest of advice – keep at it. And don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself, especially if you have a 9 to 5 job and a family to look after. But finding an hour for yourself each day should be feasible, and make it a set routine, so that it’s sacrosanct to you and clear to your family – this is your time. And then write.
- What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m preparing to embark on the next stage with my script Honoured (a thriller) – it’s already at quite a developed stage, but now that I’ve got producers on board, it needs one final re-write. I’m also doing a book-to-script adaption of a series of teen novels and I’m just about to finish one of my ghostwritten action thrillers.
- What are your top five writing tips?
- Hemingway’s tip to stop writing mid-sentence has been one of the most useful advices for me, although I’ve slightly modified it – stop writing mid-paragraph, when you know how to continue it, so that next day you can get stuck in without encountering any writer’s block.
- Planning the story in advance can be a great approach – you don’t need to have figured out all the details (there’s fun in exploring and digressing) but if you know what your main plot points are and where your story is headed, as in how it ends, it keeps you on track.
- A daily target – either page numbers or word count – can become a way of self-discipline. If you stick by it, it becomes second nature, and it makes deadlines really manageable rather than sources of stress.
- If you’re struggling with one particular chapter, don’t force it – leave it and move on to the next chapter, or even to the end. Eventually you’ll figure out how to resolve the said chapter, and you’ll be able to return to it without having wasted time being stuck on one page. Nonlinear writing can be very freeing.
- If you’re just starting out, it can be a good idea to write in the genre you most enjoy reading – chances are you’ll already know a lot of the genre tropes without even realising it, and besides, it will be easier to stay motivated when it’s a genre you’re passionate about. The reverse of this advice is not to get tempted into writing in a genre just because it happens to be commercial – that alone will never sustain the writing process.